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The gendered dimensions of defences to homicide: a systematic review protocol

Corsi, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-4029-1127, Cook, E. ORCID: 0000-0002-7608-8702, McManus, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-2711-0819 , Innes, A. J. ORCID: 0000-0002-0100-8990 & Capelas Barbosa, E. ORCID: 0000-0002-7621-7957 (2021). The gendered dimensions of defences to homicide: a systematic review protocol. ..


Various partial and complete defences to homicide are available globally. If successful, these defences can have the effect of fully absolving the accused of criminal liability (in the case of a complete defence, such as self defence) or reducing a charge and attendant sentencing (i.e. reducing a murder conviction to a lesser conviction, such as manslaughter, via a partial defence.) Gender discrimination in homicide defences persist, despite reforms (Fitz-Gibbon & Horder, 2015; Fitz-Gibbon & Pickering, 2011). For example, intimate partner homicides (IPH) comprise a sizeable proportion of homicides against women (Stöckl et. al., 2013; UNODC 2018). One study reports that the content and application of homicide defences in cases of intimate partner homicides (IPH) is associated with the commission of male homicide of female partners and gender biased criminal sentences for women who kill abusive partners (Howes, 2021). These outcomes could be driven by gender bias (Cutroni & Anderson, 2020; Penal Reform International and LinkLaters 2016). This review will provide a multi-country analysis of existing gender bias regarding both the content and application of the law of homicide defences. Ensuring that criminal law and criminal justice are free from bias is a perennial need for liberal democracies. Providing fair and unbiased sentencing in which the severity of the sentence matches the gravity of the crime is also a high priority. Further, establishing appropriate criminal justice responses to homicide and to violence against women and girls are chief policy concerns. The review can form the basis of law reform and criminal justice practice reform suggestions to remove gender bias in homicide defences and to assess why previous attempts to do so have not yet worked to plan.

Publication Type: Other (UNSPECIFIED)
Additional Information: This is a Systematic Review Protocol Registration. Copyright the authors, 2022.
Publisher Keywords: criminal law; criminal justice; homicide; homicide defences; gender; violence; gender discrimination; gender disaggregated homicide; access to justice
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
K Law
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
School of Health & Psychological Sciences
School of Policy & Global Affairs > Violence and Society Centre
[thumbnail of Backup of Dr Jessica Corsi_Systematic Review Protocol Registration_Open Science Foundation_The gendered dimensions of defences to homicide_6 October 2021.pdf]
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